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Twittergates: Twitter's @billgates isn't really Bill Gates

March 6, 2009 | 12:10 pm
Twitter's @billgates isn't really Bill Gates
Twitter's @billgates is not that Bill Gates.
Credit: Alessandro Della Bella / AP / Keystone

We here at the L.A. Times don't intend to get into the business of full-time hunting for phonies on Twitter. It's hard to justify the civic good of this type of endeavor in a time of dwindling resources and increasing societal crime, waste and corruption. But ... the Bill Gates account on Twitter is totally not real. 

Despite not tweeting in more than a month, @billgates has continued to gain followers, going from 7,000 to over 9,000 in just the last week.

If the dubious grammar and spelling mistakes of his tweet stream weren't enough to raise doubts ("What ya all think of 7?" and "Of course, it's actual mosquitos that are out there spreading diseases."), then perhaps testimony directly from his office will be.

We asked Gates' chief of staff, Larry Cohen, whether the Bill Gates on Twitter was indeed the Bill Gates of Microsoft and the Gates Foundation.

"It is not that Bill," Cohen replied succinctly.

He did not have a comment about whether the real Bill Gates has any plans to start Twittering.

-- David Sarno

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